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Monday, February 21, 2011, 06:15 am PT (09:15 am ET)

Apple's 'Safe Deposit Box' could offer file security with cloud backup

Apple has shown interest in building a secure folder into its Mac OS X operating system which would allow users to safely save important files and documents, and also securely access them on the go.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently revealed Apple's application entitled "File Management Safe Deposit Box." In the company's proposed invention, the deposit box would be reside on a user's computer, and would verify their identity before the contents can be accessed.

Apple's application notes that users typically have files of varying importance and secrecy on their computers. In addition, users often want to have additional copies of important files to ensure they will not be lost if their computer is stolen or damaged.

"While various backup programs and encryption software suites are available to users, these are often cumbersome and time consuming for a user to set up," the application reads.

The proposed solution would be a "Safe Deposit Box" built into Mac OS X, allowing users to simply drag and drop a file onto the deposit box icon. Doing so would securely store and save the file. Users could also allow access to files for a short period of time, minimizing the risk of an unauthorized user gaining access.

Patent 1


The feature would go one step further, and automatically generate a copy of the file and save it to the cloud, preventing the risk of file loss. In addition to being automatically generated, these copies of files would also be secured, preventing access from unauthorized users.

Patent 2


Apple's explanation of the feature describes an interface that would mimic a physical safe deposit box at a bank, a personal safe, or some other way that users secure important belongings in real life.

The patent application recently made public by the USPTO was first filed by Apple in August of 2009. The proposed invention is credited to Duncan Robert Kerr and David R. Falkenburg.